Pokagon Band celebrates sovereigntyPublished 10:53pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi will be celebrating the tribe’s strength and spirit on the 18th anniversary of its federal re-affirmation with three days of celebratory events Sept 20-22.
After decades of struggle to restore federal recognition, the band was reaffirmed by an act of Congress and signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton on Sept. 21, 1994.
Federal recognition, which means the U.S. government recognizes the sovereignty of a tribal nation and confirms the government-to-government relationship between the two nations, acknowledges the right of a tribe to govern itself as it had before European and American immigration. Potawatomi Heritage Day kicks off Sept. 20. Elementary students from schools in Goshen and Niles and will learn more about the language and culture of the area’s original people during a visit to tribal land.
The weekend event will continue Sept. 21 with a Sovereignty Day concert from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center. Gene Tagaban, Keith Secola and the Wild Band of Indians and comedian Don Burnstick will perform in a free concert.
The final day of events is closed to the public.